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What is the Difference Between Manual Testing and Automation Testing?

Owen Savage

Owen Savage

Broken software leads to unhappy users and lost revenue, so testing it to make sure it works correctly is a must. Software testing is used to discover bugs in software under development and it’s traditionally been done manually, but these processes are becoming automated.

Wondering what the difference is between manual and automated testing? Let’s find out.

Automating QA is essential to becoming more agile, hence this being one of the main recommendations of the Capgemini World Quality Report of 2021-22:

Standardize the use of test automation in QA, and use it from end-to-end. An automation-first approach in software quality delivery should now be the norm across all QA activities.

Skip ahead to:

Key differences between manual and automation testing
The limitations of manual software testing
The advantages of automated QA testing
No-code automation testing

Access guide to moving from manual to automation testing

Key differences between manual and automation testing

Manual testing involves a QA Analyst executing tests manually. They check that all the essential features of a software application are working correctly, generating test reports without the help of automation tools.

On the other hand, with automation testing, you conduct specific tests via automation—it most often requires scripts (and people who can write those scripts).

When you automate tests, it means you carry out specific tests via automation. Some tests will of course always be carried out manually, especially if they are only run once or have unpredictable outcomes. However, tests that are predictable, take a long time to perform or are repetitive can be automated.

The type of test automation tool you choose requires careful consideration. Of the resources you have, and of your testing strategy too.

Related reading: What to consider before starting your test automation journey.

The limitations of manual software testing

In a continuous testing environment, managing QA is not an easy task. Manual testing takes longer, is resource-heavy, and is hard to scale. It’s also more prone to human error.

What does all this mean for your business?

More hours spent on testing. More costly bugs leading to less revenue and a worse customer experience.

The advantages of automated QA testing

Test automation leads to accelerated test creation, cost savings, and increased efficiency.

It lets you execute repetitive tasks and regression tests without relying on only manual testing—automation testing speeds up the QA process. It also limits the number of bugs that often go unnoticed when testing manually.

No-code automation testing

One of the reasons automating the testing process has an initially low ROI is the requirement for programmers to automate tests. When teams need to make updates to tests because of new functionalities, or a break in the automated test, this leads to high maintenance costs.

Related reading: How to Calculate the ROI of Test Automation

This is where no-code approach comes in. Where automation tests often fail because of the development and maintenance required, Leapwork’s codeless approach offers a low-maintenance and easy-to-use solution.

Rather than using lines of code to build automated test cases, Leapwork offers a visual approach that anyone can understand. It helps testers take charge of the testing process.

Leapwork removes complexity. It’s as simple as that.

Find out more about how Leapwork automates the testing process in our no-code test automation webinar. This webinar is for you if you’re looking for a new tool, or to improve your current testing strategy.

You can also check out our whitepaper on manual vs automation testing: the 10 considerations QA teams should take into account when testing software.

Get the Guide to Moving from Manual to Automated Testing